A common complaint that many pet owners have voiced over the years is that their dog appears to develop irritated skin after a visit to the groomers, a bath at home, or any similar activity. Naturally, good pet owners want to deal with irritated skin after grooming and other activities, so that their pet isn’t in discomfort. Learn more about the likely causes and symptoms of this problem, and what you can do about it.
The Problem of Irritated Skin after Grooming Your Dog
After grooming, especially when using electric clippers, scissors to trim hair, or other mechanical implements, a dog’s skin can become irritated. This is especially true around sensitive areas like the face, genitals, and anus. Dull or overheated blades on electric clippers can snag hairs and irritate the skin, or cause outright burns. Dog’s skin is much thinner and more easily irritated than a human’s. This can result in your dog repeatedly licking the area, causing inflammation and redness, but with no visible signs of cuts or bleeding.
In other cases, there may be more diffuse skin irritation, such as from overly harsh shampoos or conditioners, shampoo or conditioner that hasn’t been properly rinsed away, bathing too frequently, or cutting hair too short, leading to sunburn of the skin. It can sometimes be confused for an infection or parasite infestation, such as fleas.
In almost all cases, these problems can be reduced or prevented with proper grooming techniques, diligence, and care. If they occur repeatedly, a change to the instruments, treatments, or methods being used may be warranted, as we’ll discuss below.
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What You Can Do About It
If your dog was recently groomed, either professionally or at home, and starts to exhibit any of these symptoms of irritated skin, there are steps you can take immediately to help reduce their discomfort. A room-temperature bath and oatmeal dog shampoo can help calm irritated nerves and reduce the irritation. That should help your pet in the short-run. There are also ointments, normally meant for bug bites, that can also help with irritation from any of these causes, and are usually available at pet stores, vets, and groomers.
In the long-run, some changes to the grooming routine are warranted. If your dog, for example, develops this skin irritation after a session with a groomer using electric clippers, ask what blade they are using, and have them go up a few numbers to one that leaves more hair on your dog, and doesn’t cut quite as short. If it develops after a bath, especially if you are using a new shampoo or conditioner, try a different one next time. Hypoallergenic shampoos and conditioners that are extremely mild are readily available. Likewise, dog dryers that will help to dry them off after a bath should be used instead of a human hair dryer – even on low, it may burn your dog’s skin and cause the irritation. These are all steps that you or your groomer can take to prevent sensitive or irritated skin from occurring in the future. Be sure to follow guides and tutorials on proper bathing and rinsing, and don’t bathe your dog too often or cut their hair too short – those are sure ways to get their skin irritated, especially in sensitive areas of the body.
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